The Parthenon, said the 19th-century French engineer Auguste Choisy, represents "the supreme effort of genius in pursuit of beauty."

Unlocking Mysteries of the Parthenon

Restoration of the 2,500-year-old temple is yielding new insights into the engineering feats of the golden age's master builders

Martin Rundkvist

500-Year-Old Sword Gets a Facelift

What became of the settlement that Christopher Columbus' crew built after his flagship ran aground? Clark Moore (in Haiti near the Bay of L'Acul, where the <em>Santa Maria</em> is believed to have foundered) is on the trail: "We know Columbus built the fort inside a large Indian village."

The Lost Fort of Columbus

On his voyage to the Americas in 1492, the explorer built a small fort somewhere in the Caribbean


Taking a Dinosaur's Temperature

Polar species heat up one of paleontology's great debates


The Strange Lives of Polar Dinosaurs

How did they endure months of perpetual cold and dark?


Bones to Pick

Paleontologist William Hammer hunts dinosaur fossils in the Antarctic


Digging up Egypt's Treasures

The ten most significant discoveries in the past 20 years


Unearthing Egypt's Greatest Temple

Discovering the grandeur of the monument built 3,400 years ago

A field crew in Kenya excavates a Homo erectus skull.

Head Case

Two fossils found in Kenya raise evolutionary questions

Researchers collect core samples in 2001. During drilling operations, several anchors placed by divers secured the boat to the sea floor.

Underwater World

New evidence reveals a city beneath ancient Alexandria

Archaeologists have modeled Rome in three dimensions, and users can "fly" through the ancient city's winding streets, broad plazas, forums—even the Coliseum.

Rome Reborn

Archaeologists unveil a 3-D model of the great city circa A.D. 400

Julius Caesar, the emperors Augustus and Tiberius and the statesman-philosopher Cicero all had homes in Stabiae.

Ancient Rome's Forgotten Paradise

Stabiae's seaside villas will soon be resurrected in one of the largest archaeological projects in Europe since World War II


Passing Notes

Zhou Daguan, part of a group of diplomats from China that lived in Angkor from 1296 to 1297, recorded his thoughts on the area

"It's a plastered skull!" shouted anthropologist Basak Boz (with the artifact). To researchers, who have documented more than 400 human burials at Catalhoyuk, the find is evidence of a prehistoric artistic and spiritual awakening.

The Seeds of Civilization

Why did humans first turn from nomadic wandering to villages and togetherness? The answer may lie in a 9,500-year-old settlement in central Turkey


Smithsonian Perspectives

In the Smithsonian's long history of studying cultures, we've learned to help people represent themselves

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